We are pleased to present the inaugural issue of the New York Yankees' Stadium Construction Update. This newsletter is the first
in a series of newsletters the New York Yankees will be publishing in the following months to help update the community on the
progress of the New Yankee Stadium.
Follow along as we begin a new and exciting chapter in the intertwined histories of the Bronx and the New York Yankees.
The new $800 million Yankee Stadium is one of the premier building projects to take place in the Bronx in more than 50 years.
It has taken the hard work of a team of engineers, architects and construction professionals to design what we know will be
the most impressive and fan-friendly park in Major League Baseball. What's equally important, however, is that the stadium
project has earned the support of local community groups and residents, local and statewide elected officials and people and
institutions committed to the long-term development of the Bronx. The support of these groups means a great deal to the New
York Yankees, and it is in the spirit of community and partnership that we will be publishing and distributing this newsletter
for the duration of construction as a way of keeping our neighbors aware of our progress.
We look forward to keeping you abreast of the latest news and information regarding the new Yankee Stadium and can't wait to
see you at Opening Day, 2009.
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Members of the 1998 World Series team work with local youth to transfer dirt, home plate, and the pitching rubber from the current stadium to the new stadium”
In a dual-Stadium ceremony, local Bronx high school youth groups were joined by Scott Brosius, David
Cone, Jeff Nelson and Paul O’Neill of the Yankees’ 1998 World Championship team and Yankees Vice
Chairperson Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal in removing home plate, the pitcher’s rubber and pails of dirt from
the original Yankee Stadium, then installing them in the new Yankee Stadium across the street.
The participating Bronx youth groups—Youth Force 2020, led by Turner Construction Company, and the ACE
Mentor Program at Yankee Stadium, guided by Tishman Speyer—have been taking part in Yankees-sponsored
after-school programs relating to the construction and engineering of the new Yankee Stadium.
Turner’s YouthForce 2020 guides young people toward careers in the construction industry, using an Adopt-a-
School Program along with internship and scholarship opportunities. Students from high schools such as the
Bronx Engineering Technical Academy (BETA), Alfred E. Smith H.S. and the Institute of Environmental Learning
have attended monthly classes at the original Yankee Stadium covering a curriculum tailored to introduce the
construction industry to students.
At the conclusion of the program, five $8,000 scholarships ($2,000 for each year of college) are given to selected
graduating seniors who go on to pursue degrees in architecture, engineering or construction. Paid internships
are also available to graduates of the program. Ninety-nine percent of paid interns go on to become full-time
The Yankee Stadium-affliated Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) Mentor Program, is designed to
enlighten and motivate Bronx high school students toward architecture, construction, engineering and related
careers, while providing mentoring opportunities for future designers and constructors. Over the last two years,
volunteers from Tishman Speyer have assisted student teams as they take on challenging construction design
assignments relating to the new Yankee Stadium.
“This is a special and symbolic day for the New York Yankees and our community,” said Yankees Vice Chairperson
Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal. “The Yankees commend these students for their participation and dedication,
and are pleased to recognize their great achievements as we look forward to our future together in the Bronx.”
The 30 students in this year’s ACE program meet for two hours each week, working toward a final presentation in
May. Students from this year’s class represent many local high schools, including Harry S. Truman H.S., DeWitt
Clinton H.S., Alfred E. Smith H.S., BETA, NYC Charter H.S. for Architecture, Engineering & Construction, New
School for Arts & Sciences, Lehman H.S., Bronx H.S. for the Visual Arts, Mt. St. Michael Academy, Bronx Science
and Holcombe L. Rucker.
During the 2007-08 academic year, students in the ACE program designed their visions of what Monument
should look like in the new Stadium, while being guided by the very same designers who were creating what
was actually being built. All five of the high school seniors involved in the 2007-08 ACE Mentoring program
went on to four-year colleges.
For Bronx Native, Stadium is Dream Come True
Joe Byrne is all energy. His hands move as quickly as his mouth and his rapid-fire speech is enough to make you dizzy. But you almost can't blame the guy for his excitement and enthusiasm. As the Project Executive for Turner Construction=Sports, Byrne oversees the construction of the new Yankee Stadium. And for a self-described "30 to 40 game-a-year" New York Yankees fan from Throggs Neck, this is the job of dreams.
Byrne is no stranger to big projects. A graduate of Lehman High School, he earned an engineering degree from SUNY Maritime and his previous work for Turner Construction included the state-of-the-art Hearst Building on West 57th Street in Manhattan and the Bear Stearns building on Madison Avenue. Yet, overseeing the construction of a stadium-especially one for the New York Yankees-is a once in a lifetime project. It is also a project that comes with a set of opportunities and responsibilities that aren't common in the building business in New York.
First and foremost is the New York Yankees Community Benefits Agreement with its benchmarks for hiring local vendors and workers. "The CBA allowed this project to start," Byrne said of the contract. He said that the New York Yankees have worked with the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation and local chambers of commerce to identify vendors from the area who could help with the construction. "Sometimes, all these guys need is a chance" to break into the business, said Byrne. He adds that the work of local contractors has been on par with some of the bigger players in the industry. As proof of his commitment to local vendors he points out that the wiring for the complex of administrative offices at the construction site-including his own-was done by a local vendor. "Diana Electric did a great job," Byrne said.
When asked what has been one of biggest challenges associated with building the new Yankee Stadium, Byrne said that finding skilled workers at a time when all of New York City is going through a building boom has been difficult but not impossible. "We've really had to search for the best specialized workers," he said, "but we've always found them."
According to Byrne an even greater challenge has been meeting the high expectations for the Stadium. "The daily challenge of being on the highest profile job in the five boroughs is tough," he said. But Byrne likes the challenge. "I really feel like we are expected to succeed off the field in the same way the Yankees are supposed to succeed on it." Besides, he adds, "how often do you get to say that you built a stadium?"
Council Majority Leader: "World Class Stadium for a World Class Team."
New York City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera's Bronx roots run deep. His family has been in public service for decades, and his commitment to the Bronx is well-known throughout the borough. Rivera is the youngest Majority Leader in Council history, and he has brought a fresh perspective to his job and a commitment to revitalizing the Bronx. Rivera sees the new Yankee Stadium not just as an opportunity for his favorite baseball team to play in a state-of-the-art stadium but also as an opportunity for the Bronx to shine. "This is a major economic boom to the Bronx," Rivera said, "and the economic impact is at the forefront of our priorities. This has to be a win-win."
Rivera is pleased with the way in which the Stadium construction team is working with the local community to ensure that Bronx workers and vendors are included in the building process. "They're doing a great job of hiring and contracting in the Bronx," he said. " The Yankees are going beyond the letter of the contract."
He pointed to the case of Eastman Boilers, a local vendor, as an example of one of many Bronx vendors who have been contracted to provide services for the new Stadium. "I really wanted to make sure that if we were building in the Bronx that we create a "Buy Bronx" campaign, and that's certainly happened."
We're Building The New Yankee Stadium
Amid the cranes and cement trucks at the new Yankee Stadium construction site, it's easy to forget that people, not just machines, are behind the largest building project in the Bronx in decades. We visited with some of the workers at the stadium construction site recently, and found out more about them.
After working at the site of the new water filtration plant in Van Cortland Park, Elena Gracia came to work at the Yankee Stadium Construction Project hoping to make a difference. She has. Gracia is one of the coordinators in the effort to hire local workers at the construction project.
|Title:||Project Community Coordinator|
|Started Work:||February, 2007|
"It feels good to put someone to work," she said. Indeed the commitment that the New York Yankees have made to hire local workers means that Gracia gets a chance "to do something good for the Bronx."
"This is a wonderful opportunity," she said. "I'm happy to be here."
Patricia Gilbert says that she came by her job "through the grace of God." The Morrisania resident works with Turner Construction=Sports. She is the general contractor on the new stadium project and provides insurance coverage to the many contractors and sub-contractors that work on the site. The work is a big change from her days working for a hospital in Westchester County. "I've learned more about insurance, and I am still learning," she said. She knows that the construction of the new stadium will have an effect throughout the Bronx.
|Started Work:||December, 2006|
"This is very good for the community," Gilbert added. "It creates more jobs, which is what we need."
Ask people to describe Clint Robinson and the first words that come to mind are: "success story." Robinson came to Yankee Stadium when he heard that local residents would have an opportunity to work on the construction site. His previous work experience was as a truck driver.
|Started Work:||November, 2006|
With the assistance of Benny Catala and officials from Local 731, Robinson is now a member of the local and part of the excavation team.
"I learned a whole lot," he said recently. Robinson also said that he enjoys the camaraderie with his co-workers. He knows that union membership will give him stability after the Stadium project is completed, and for this life-long New York Yankees fan, that means a lot. "It's been a good experience," he said.